The mystery of human consciousness is solved you say?

The emergence of consciousness, as assessed with a motor response to a spoken command, was associated with the activation of a core network involving subcortical and limbic regions that became functionally coupled with parts of frontal and inferior parietal cortices upon awakening from dexme-detomidine-induced unconsciousness. This network thus enabled the subjective awareness of the external world and the capacity to behaviorally express the contents of consciousness through voluntary responses.

I might disagree about the meaning of "voluntary" responses. I argue that there is no free-will. It seems like they're making an assumption here with no data to suggest that they're voluntary?

It's totally fascinating that the neo cortex showed no initial activations. I think the "seat higher consciousness" is an illusory after affect and not a seat at all. Decisions are already made in the central area from which the other areas receive direction, where they contemplate & justify the actions in a way that makes you think you had a choice.

When you think about it, it makes sense that they would go outward... almost like we've been over-analyzing the whole thing and it's really not that complex. The same for the tractography. Why would it start on the outside and go inward?

“We expected to see the outer bits of brain, the cerebral cortex (often thought to be the seat of higher human consciousness), would turn back on when consciousness was restored following anesthesia. Surprisingly, that is not what the images showed us. In fact, the central core structures of the more primitive brain structures including the thalamus and parts of the limbic system appeared to become functional first, suggesting that a foundational primitive conscious state must be restored before higher order conscious activity can occur” Scheinin said.

The mechanism for human consciousness is going to be fully unlocked and understood in the next 10-20 years or less. Brain science is making leaps and bounds. It's an exciting time to be alive, and to be biological.

Consciousness is an illusion, without the ability to form short-term memory from the environment, both external and from the central nervous system, including within the brain, then there is no "you." It's like flipping a light switch in a room with an optical illusion. "You" are the illusion and the loss of short-term/long-term memory interactions is like the loss of light.

What is interesting is that the heart continues to beat... clearly that part of the brain is a simple deterministic machine we call subconsciousness. There is no choice to beat or not to beat. If you were to suppress the part of the brian that controls the heart beat, this would be the same thing.

For comments, see OP:
Imaging the process of returning consciousness after general anesthesia
This is really interesting: "When given a sufficient dose of an anesthetic, a person will lose the precious but mysterious capacity of being aware of one’s own self and the surrounding world, and will sink into a state of oblivion [...] anesthesia offers a unique window for imaging internal brain activity when the subjective phenomenon of consciousness first vanishes and then re-emerges [...] activations seen upon regaining consciousness were thus mostly localized in deep, phylogenetically old brain structures rather than in the neocortex [...] The results presented here also add to the current understanding of anesthesia mechanisms and form the foundation for developing more reliable depth-of-anesthesia technology."

Thanks to +Derya Unutmaz for linking to Turku PET Center report:

It's +ScienceSunday by +Allison Sekuler & +Robby Bowles.
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